Harden Brilliant as A's Topple Sox 5-1 in Japan

Oakland, Boston return home after splitting series
By Doug Sweeney,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2008 9:54 PM CDT
Boston Red Sox leftfielder Manny Ramirez hits a solo shot off Oakland Athletics starter Rich Harden in the sixth inning of their Major League Baseball regular season game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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(Newser) – The Red Sox and the Athletics are headed home from the Land of the Rising Sun after Rich Harden shut down the defending World Series champions in game two of their Tokyo visit. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed one run, surrendered only three hits, and fanned nine Boston hitters over six innings, earning a 5-1 victory and a 1-1 series split, reports the Boston Globe.

“I want to give Rich credit," said Manny Ramirez, whose solo homerun was the only blemish on Harden’s otherwise brilliant day, "He pitched a great game.” Oakland touched up Jon Lester for four runs over four innings; the bulk of the damage came on Emil Brown’s three-run home run. It was redemption for Brown, whose 10th inning base running gaffe stifled an Oakland rally in the previous game.